And now for something really scary

<  And now for something really scary

So when I last left you, I posted about my leg injury from Friday evening.

I spent the evening with my right leg elevated and on ice on the sofa. My leg was aching and I couldn’t sleep so I stayed up blogging and surfing web sites to distract myself. I was still up about 2:30 a.m. when Lucy, who was laying on the floor beside me, jumped up and barked and raced towards my oldest daughter’s room. A neighbor’s dog was barking off in the distance in that general direction and I didn’t think anything of it other than a brief moment of worry that Lucy would wake my daughter.

As I mentioned last week, we got Lucy at the shelter a week ago Saturday. She’s nearly 10 years old and 100 pounds. She’s a Lab-Shepherd mix with maybe some Collie as well. She’s black except for some gray around her muzzle and her eyes. She’s also the best. dog. ever.

She is the best because Saturday morning, Ms. Carnacki was helping my 9-year-old daughter straighten up her room when she noticed the screen window was partway up. It had been hot and my daughter had slept with the window open because the air conditioner in the other window is old and noisy and needs to be replaced. But the screen shouldn’t have been up and she asked the other children if they had raised it and they said they hadn’t so I came over to look and outside I saw the large red wagon had been pulled over to underneath the window.

As if someone had pulled it over so he could step on it to help climb in.

We know Lucy frightened off the person. We called the deputies and they came and took a report and left a message for the midnight crew to patrol the neighborhood.

But someone tried to enter my daughter’s room. A 9-year-old girl.

My best friend, a lieutenant with another police department, came over and dropped something off for me and we talked for a while.

Last week, his officers caught a man who had pulled an 11-year-old girl out of her house in the middle of the night and raped her. They caught the suspect, who had just been released from prison after serving a lengthy sentence for a similar offense, when he returned to the girl’s neighborhood.

Last year a young girl was murdered across the road from our home. The killer, a burglar who had entered with the intent only to steal, choked her to death. He was caught fleeing the house and is in jail awaiting trial.

We moved my children from the two bedrooms on the ground floor to upstairs in the attic and my wife and I moved into one of the downstairs bedrooms. It was a busy day Saturday and though my leg ached, I had a lot of incentive and adrenaline to get the furniture moved upstairs.

So I made a pot of coffee about 11 p.m. Saturday, drank a couple of cups, and then I went into my oldest daughter’s bedroom and sat on a chair in the darkness. Earlier in the day I had left the window open and the wagon in place and changed into a black shirt and dark pants and shoes.

If a burglar showed up when we weren’t home and stole what little we have, I wouldn’t like it, but those are just things. The idea that someone opened a window and pulled something over to climb in to her room while she was sleeping…well, that’s the kind of thing you stay up all night for the next night hoping for him to try again so you can resolve the situation.

I sat careful not to move, alert to every sound, and waited. My heart could not have been colder nor harder if it had been made of diamond.

An old home makes a lot of ordinary noises that go unnoticed until you sit in the dark waiting for a burglar’s return.

But about 2 a.m. I sensed more than heard someone or something outside and I felt the adrenaline pumping through my veins. Lucy began a very low growl and I whispered her name ever so softly and she immediately stopped. She’s an incredibly smart dog. I held my left thumb on the button of my flashlight, careful not to look towards the window so as to not cause anyone to sense he was being watched.

I held myself still. Then it happened.

Upstairs I heard a light switch go on then footsteps. My oldest daughter was walking across the floor and down the attic steps.

I only had an instant to react so I rushed towards the window with the intent to resolve the situation there instead of inside and to hell with ramifications. I turned on the flashlight, but too much light reflected off the shiny screen and blinded me momentarily. By the time I got the screen up and peered out, I didn’t see anything and my daughter had gotten to the bottom step. I put away the equipment and put my untucked shirt over, stepped out of her room and said, “Hey sweetie.”

“Dad I don’t feel so well,” she said. “I need a drink of water…what are you doing in my old room?”

“Just sitting,” I said and she shrugged like she does whenever Dad does something “weird” which is a look I get more often from her as she gets older.

While the girls knew the deputies had come over, we had tried to keep our fear and anxiety hidden from our children throughout the day. We told them the police were there to check out the window. We had long planned to switch the bedrooms to make the best use of the space upstairs, which is like a dorm for them. But we did not want them frightened and apparently we succeeded because they’ve not mentioned it.

I got her a drink of water and she went back upstairs.

I do not know for certain if the burglar returned or if I heard a deer outside — we get them there at night occasionally — or if I was so keyed up after hours of waiting that I only imagined I heard something. I know Lucy growled too. I could have given chase, but the odds of success of doing that in the dark through the woods at night with a pulled hamstring were not good. If it were the burglar who fled before I got to the window, perhaps he got the message only Death awaits him if he returns here. Death and a fiercely loyal big dog.

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4 Responses to “And now for something really scary”

Carnacki

Yes I know the dangers of having equipment in the home. I’m hoping this is only a temporary anomoly and I am keeping it carefully secured.

Also for any future legal considerations, by resolve the situation I of course meant capture the person and by Death I meant he would spend the rest of his life behind bars so his life as a free man would end if he returns and is captured.

spyderkl

Oh man – every parent’s nightmare. I’m happy that things turned out okay that night.

protected static

Yow. To come back… that’s creepy.

harmonyfb

My stomach is in knots just hearing about it. I have little ones, too – y’all must frantic.

Thank goodness for your dog.

I’ll be thinking about you.

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